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e-Government: the promise or the peril?


By dxw

Our first conference to take place in Greece. Held in the British Ambassador’s residence, we brought together experts from government, industry, media, and academia from 10 countries, including Estonia, China, Portugal and Greece.


e-Government: Better services, better democracy?

Wednesday 9 – Friday 11 March 2011 (WP1104)

Participants discussed the future challenges for e-Government considering anticipated developments in the content and use of the internet.

Predictions included the absolute proliferation of the internet; broadband services to improve significantly and all mobile devices to soon have the internet embedded as standard.  The typical internet user will move from being a consumer to a creator and the content of the internet will become more multicultural and more multilingual.  Users will come to demand real time services from civil servants, and expect a similar experience using e-Government services as they would expect when using Amazon or online banking.

The movement towards e-Government is driven in part by the catalytic force, but inherent decentralisation, of the internet itself. Although other common drivers include a tighter grip on government budgets and a push for transparency, discussions revealed a multiplicity of factors affecting the development of e-Government.

Vast improvements have been made in the provision of public services, as well as the capability of citizens to make use of them.  Governments still face numerous challenges:

  • state capacity for IT must be increased
  • a knowledge gap between policy makers and service deliverers, particularly at the local level must be bridged
  • governments must find better ways of incubating civil society innovation

Further information

Conference on e-Government: better services, better democracy?

Accountability, transparency and better delivery the promise or the peril of e-Government

Podcast on e-Government